The Salvation Army is calling on people to open their doors and donate generously this weekend for its annual Red Shield Appeal.
People will be door knocking on Saturday and Sunday all across Australia in the Salvos’ biggest fundraising event of the year.
They are hoping to raise millions of dollars through the generosity of residents to fund the assistance they provide to thousands of people in need every week.
The Salvation Army’s Major Paul Moulds said there was more need than ever for people to help in whatever way they could.
“With increases in the cost of living, we see people going without medication, skipping meals and adequate winter heating because they are caught in the cycle of poverty,” he said.
“We encourage those, who are able, to donate or volunteer for this year’s appeal because no one should have to go it alone.
“The Salvos can only meet the great need within our community because, year after year, Australians come together to stand by those doing it tough.”
In an average week The Salvation Army provides beds for 17,000 people experiencing homelessness, provides 40,000 meals for the hungry and refuge for 100 women affected by domestic violence.
The Salvos also used the launch of the Red Shield Appeal to lobby the federal government to reconsider increasing the Newstart allowance.
A study of 1267 people who received the Newstart payments and used Salvation Army services found they were living on just $17 a day after accommodation.
Major Moulds said it was unthinkable that people were being forced to live off so little while others were being given big tax cuts in the latest federal budget.
“It is simply inhumane that corporations and wealthy households are handed a tax cut, while the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in this country continue to be ignored,” Major Moulds said.
“It is widely acknowledged it will take a minimum increase of $75 a week just to ensure people can live on the poverty line – let alone above it.”
To volunteer for the Red Shield Doorknock register online at salvos.org/volunteer.
Donations to the Red Shield Appeal can be made by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), visiting Salvos.org.au, or in person at any Westpac branch or Salvo Store.